Once most of the others left, Devil Concord expressionlessly said, "Junior Martial Brother, follow me! There is something I must say to you alone!" He then walked out of the hall without turning back.
Devil Cloudpart's gaze wandered for a moment and silently followed him after some hesitation. It seemed he greatly feared the large black-robed man.
Master Sunreach waited until the Devil Concord and Devil Cloudpart departed before facing Han Li and the pale woman. "Fellow Daoists Han and Bai, let's have a proper chat. How about you first take a look at the items you want and then decide whether or not you'll be participating in the wagered battles. This humble Daoist understands your reasoning. After all, this matter will be extremely dangerous. If there isn't a proper reward, no one would take the risk. But regardless if these items are to your satisfaction, I hope you two Fellow Daoists will be participating in the wagered battles."
Wei Wuya simply stood to the side and held his hands behind his back. He was calmly examining the two.
When they heard Master Sunreach, Han Li didn't reply. Rather, the gorgeous pale woman frowned and said, "I am a woman who treads the solitary path. I do not care whether the Moulan invades the Heavenly South or the other way around. Were it not for your message speaking of this item, I wouldn't have emerged from seclusion. Let's get the ugly matters out of the way first. If what you have is not to my satisfaction, I will leave without reservations."
Master Sunreach wasn't angered at her cold words, and instead replied with a warm tone, "Fellow Daoist Bai, there is no need for this! Although I was somewhat mistaken for what happened in the past, in truth I was doing what was best for you."
The woman's expression sank and she coldly snorted, "I am the judge of whether or not it was mistaken! Enough of the past; bring out the item."
When Han Li heard this, he felt shocked despite his calm exterior. This woman surnamed Bai seemed to have a dispute of some sort, perhaps due to a past relationship.
When Master Sunreach saw the woman's angered expression, he could only helplessly shake his head and took out a white jade box from his storage pouch.
It appeared rather ordinary as if made of common materials. But in the instant it appeared, the entire room dropped in temperature as if they were in the dead of a harsh winter. Even Han Li, who had long grown unfazed by weather, couldn't help but feel unwell in the face of such cold.
The woman surnamed Bai revealed excitement upon sensing the icy cold that the box emitted.
At that moment, Master Sunreach wordlessly offered the jade box to the woman. After she took it into her hands, she opened it, revealing it clearly to Han Li.
They were a pair of transparent crystalline cocoons. They emitted a trace of cold Qi that caused Han Li to frown. They seemed to be cocoons of the Icefrost Silkworms, who were ranked last on the list of exotic insects.
Although this exotic insect wasn't very powerful in battle, it has an inconceivable divine ability that is difficult to find. If this woman truly required these insects, it was quite possible she would agree to fight in the wagered battle.
"Why are they cocoons? These aren't fully grown." To Han Li's surprise, the woman's expression turned unsightly upon seeing them.
Master Sunreach replied with a calm expression, "Fellow Daoist Bai, these Icefrost Silkworms were found a hundred meters deep inside a sheet of ice. They aren't common; they are top grade Monarch Silkworms. Look at them with your spiritual sense. You'll find that there is something exceptional about them."
"Monarch Silkworms?" The woman's expression stirred and she doubtfully swept her spiritual sense past the cocoons. A short moment later, her expression relaxed.
"How about it? While these Monarch Silkworms are still in their cocoons, they should be more than enough for your uses."
After a moment of hesitation, the woman put away the box and said, "With this, I will be able to fight in the wagered battle."
Master Sunreach sighed with relief and smiled, "Good. With Fellow Daoist Bai's Frostcloud Arts, she'll be able to deal with those trifling spell warriors in a single move."
Afterwards, the woman expressionlessly said, "I'll be taking my leave," before heading out of the hall.
Master Sunreach bitterly smiled and shook his head. When Wei Wuya saw this, he chuckled and said nothing else.
Once the woman left the hall, Master Sunreach focused on Han Li and asked with a smile, "Fellow Daoist Han, just how much Auric Essence do you require?"
With completely open intentions, Han Li said, "I require much of it. It can be said that the more, the better. Of course, since Auric Essence is quite valuable, so long as you two Fellow Daoists bring it to me, I'll exchange it for an equivalent price. I definitely won't have you suffer a loss."
Master Sunreach chuckled. "From Fellow Daoist Han's tone, it seems he possesses quite a bit of wealth. However, Fellow Daoist Han should know that at our realm, there are few items that are able to tempt Fellow Daoist Wei and I. Otherwise, we wouldn't have relinquished so many of our worldly possessions for this war."
Han Li smiled and said nothing else. Instead, Wei Wuya sighed and suddenly spoke, "Fellow Daoist Sunreach, your tone may be bold, but Fellow Daoist Han was able to escape from a Moulan Divine Sage with only early Nascent Soul-stage cultivation. He is no ordinary cultivator."
Master Sunreach casually said, "Hehe, I've been rude. But regardless of what Fellow Daoist Han plans on using to trade for the Auric Essence, how about he first takes a look at it. If Fellow Daoist truly has an item that can tempt us, we'll have no objections trading it for the entirety of the Auric Essence."
He then reached for his storage pouch and a white light flew into his palm, revealing three various-sized chunks of golden rock that magnificently glowed. The middle-aged Daoist handed them over to Han Li in one move.
Han Li's heart pounded as he directly received the rocks, and he examined them with covetous desire.
The three chunks, one large and two small, were truly Auric Essence. The larger of the pieces was about the same size as the chunk that was auctioned off at the trade meet, about the size of a walnut. As for the smaller pieces, they were about half that size. This amount of Auric Essence should be enough for him to infuse tensome flying swords. However, it was somewhat lacking in quantity compared to what Han Li desired. Despite his calm expression, his eyes betrayed a trace of disappointment.
Master Sunreach was somewhat amazed to see this. Just how much Auric Essence did this man want? It was rather baffling. With that thought, he shot a glance at Wei Wuya.
Having seen Han Li's expression, he also glanced at Master Sunreach and calmly took out a fist-sized chunk of Auric Essence from his sleeve.
When Han Li saw such a large chunk of Auric Essence in Wei Wuya's hand, he grew delighted. Although this chunk of Auric Essence wasn't enough for all seventy-two flying swords, with luck, this along with three smaller pieces should be enough for at least half of them. With thirty-six flying swords supported with the Swordlight Reflection Technique, it would be just enough for a small-scale Aureate Sword Formation.
With excitement in his heart, Han Li caught the chunk of Auric Essence that Wei Wuya tossed to him. After examining it with a deep breath, he said, "Although this may be all of your Auric Essence, it is still somewhat lacking. But it will be enough for me to participate in the wagered battle. Please take a look at these items and see if they are to your satisfaction."
After putting away the Auric Essence, he took out two differently colored jade boxes and handed them separately to Wei Wuya and Master Sunreach.
They each took the jade boxes and indifferently opened them. Wei Wuya weighted the box in his hand before opening it first.
One of the boxes had numerous scarlet fingernail-sized scales. The other box had a fist-sized jet-black tortoise shell. The two late Nascent Soul-stage cultivators were amazed by what they saw.
"Demon beast materials!"
Han Li explained, "That's correct. Fellow Daoist Wei has the scales of a grade eight Venomous Flood Dragon. As for Fellow Daoist Sunreach, he possesses the shell of a grade eight demon tortoise. Although I don't dare to say these items are heaven-defying existences, these metamorphosed demon materials are rarely seen in the Heavenly South. They should be more than enough to trade for Auric Essence."
Although Han Li's tone was calm, he held much confidence. Grade eight demon beast materials were extremely hard to come by even in the Scattered Star Seas. Although many cultivators head out to the Outer Star Seas, very few were able to see demon beasts of that grade, let alone kill one.
And in the Heavenly South, grade seven and six demon beasts were killed as quickly as they appeared. None are left to ascent to grade eight stage. And apart from a few areas that large sects control, all other areas are devoid of any high-grade demon beasts.
Although Master Sunreach was able to quickly recover from his shock, Wei Wuya couldn't help but shout in delight, "The scales of a grade eight Venomous Flood Dragon!"
Han Li was stunned for a moment before soon recalling that Wei Wuya cultivated a venomous cultivation art. As the body of a Venomous Flood Dragon is particularly deadly, these scales might prove to have other miraculous uses for him.
Just as Han Li hesitated as to what to say, Wei Wuya hastily extended his fingers and fiddled with one of the crimson scales. After carefully examining them, he began to ponder what there was to gain.
Master Sunreach felt somewhat amazed by Wei Wuya's loss of demeanor. But after a strange expression appeared on his face, he smiled at Han Li and said, "Hehe! It seems Fellow Daoist Han's item is much to Brother Wei's liking. I am also rather interested in the tortoise shell. If these are true grade eight demon beast materials, they will be a fair trade for the Auric Essence as they are optimal materials for refining defensive magic tools."
Although he felt that Han Li's words weren't false, the sword-bearing Daoist found it hard to believe that an early Nascent Soul cultivator was able to acquire grade eight demon beast materials. He naturally had to determine whether or not the tortoise shell was genuine.